Sometimes, the most inspirational stories come from the most unexpected places, as was the case this week when the Philadelphia 76ers signed their latest player. Kevin Grow was signed to a seven-day contract, but this was no ordinary contract. This signing warmed the hearts of Philadelphia fans and changed the life of the team’s newest player.
The 76ers Big Gesture
Kevin Grow has Down syndrome, but he has never let that get in the way of his love for basketball. The teen served as the manager for his high school basketball team for four years. You may have heard about this young man, who took to the court for his team’s final two games. He wowed the crowd by racking up 14 points, including a buzzer-beating 3-point shot. The 76ers took notice, and the general manager of the team offered Grow a ceremonial contract. The fact that the NBA team took notice of this young athlete is just another way that people with Down syndrome and other disabilities are getting positive attention for their great accomplishments.
Kevin Takes the Court
Though the contract was only valid for seven days, both Grow and the team will have memories that will last a lifetime. He and the team had dinner together, and he was the star of the show at the Feb. 18 game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kevin was given his own personalized jersey—number 33—which was hung in the locker room, showing that he was a true 76er for the game, he was also honored in pre-game events, got to stand with the team during the national anthem, and he had a chance to eat in the player’s lounge. His high school basketball team also had a moment in the spotlight as they made an appearance on the court during halftime. After all, he and his team were a package deal; he supported them and they supported him.
Inspiring a Community
What’s remarkable about young Kevin Grow is that what was designed to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the young man turned into much more than that. He has warmed the hearts of so many with his enthusiasm and spirit, and has showed that there are no limits to what can be accomplished when you have passion and drive. He inspired millions with his time on the court in high school, and he has continued to inspire with his amazing accomplishment in the NBA.
As more and more people hear about Kevin and people like him, there will be a greater understanding of what Down syndrome is and how it affects those who have it. There are plenty of misconceptions about what men and women with Down Syndrome can do, and stories like this one prove that everyone is capable of greatness when given a chance to shine.